Sunday, April 25, 2010

City With A Slow Heartbeat; draft #3

Welcome Latenight Rider, the cool eyed El awaits you.

Knife scratch phone numbers etched in dull stainless steel
seats covered in seventies style thin and stained carpet
violet speckles on soft neon blue.
Ink stain directions smudged in broad crack head script
From the 15th ride the broad street line north
get off at Allegheny
and you're at the Diamond street projects.

Welcome Latenight Rider, the cool eyed El awaits you.

From Erie-Torresdale going West
here on elevated tracks high above Kensington Avenue
ride quiet quite like the glance of a bull
in the kicked up dust just before the charge:
just the squeal of breaks
the breathless mechanical whistle of metal against metal
and a mechanized voice announcing the next station on deck
letting us know whether the doors are open or closed.

Welcome Latenight Rider, the cool eyed El awaits you.

To my left across the aisle two men sit facing each other,
I see them out of the corner of my eye,
each sprawled across two seats,
one sitting back twisted
arms gray anguish folded across the back of the seat
speaking gravel too fast
but not for his brother no he ain't no fool
he won't get fooled again
he ain't no fool and he won't get fooled again.

He speaks and chants and sings
and God bless this and god bless that
god bless these bitumen black-grey roofs that stretch out
endless in the dusk and we only pass by with vacant stares
burrowing holes into windows seatbacks and floor,
or chins notched in books
avoiding cigarette burn holes in my jeans,
even as we ride by abandoned warehouses shit full of shattered glass.

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